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New Study: Europeans Are Not Fully Protected By EU Rules For Online Gambling

George Miller

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New Study: Europeans Are Not Fully Protected By EU Rules For Online Gambling
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

All EU member states, except Denmark, have not fully implemented EU consumer protection guidelines for online gambling, putting the protection of online gamblers at risk by leaving them exposed to unequal and inadequate levels of consumer protection across EU member states, according to a new study published by the City University London and commissioned by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

The study reviewed the implementation of selected key provisions of the principles of the European Commission’s Recommendation 2014/478/EU across EU Member States, including players’ identification, minors’ protection & social responsibilities measures, and found that major gaps exist.

The study finds that the primary objective of the Commission’s guidelines – to fully protect all online gamblers in Europe – has not been achieved. The regulation of online gambling substantially diverges between Member States and this has exposed online players to varied levels of consumer protection.

Key findings of the study:

General

  • The primary objective of the European Commission’s Recommendation has not been achieved. Regulation of online gambling substantially diverges between Member States exposing online players to varied levels of consumer
  • Only one jurisdiction (Denmark) has implemented the Recommendation fully.

Players’ identification & verification requirements

  • 25 countries legally require online players to open an online gambling account in order to play.
  • 22 countries require players’ identities to be verified upon application to open a gambling account.

Minors’ protection

  • All countries impose a minimum age requirement for gambling, with 22 countries setting a uniform age restriction at 18 years of age for all types of online gambling.
  • 13 countries require ‘no underage gambling’ sign to be displayed on or during commercial advertisements

Social responsibilities’ measures

  • 23 countries oblige operators to offer self-exclusion facilities for online players.
  • 14 countries have established national self-exclusion registers.
  • No country initiates automatic referral to health group organisation or treatment centres upon self-exclusion.

An executive summary of the study can be found here.

The full study can be found here.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Compliance Updates

Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands

Niji Ng

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Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands
Image Source: slate.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The voting on the Remote Gaming Bill in the Dutch parliament has been postponed. It will now take place on February 19.

The bill has been under development since 2015. MPs debated the Bill and the Casino Reform Bill in the Senate this week also, but the all-important vote has been postponed to February 19.

At present, judging from the tone and content of the debate on parliament, the Bill is likely to be passed.

Sander Dekker, Minister Justice, said about the concern of MPs was whether operators who had operated illegally in the Dutch market would be allowed to gain a license:: “A license applicant who has actively offered online gambling services in the past will be able to remove doubt regarding its future reliability by showing good behavior during a consecutive period prior to the license application. During the debate on February 5, I have called this a “cooling down period.”

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Compliance Updates

Bacta meet with the Minister and explore industry road map

George Miller

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Bacta meet with the Minister and explore industry road map
Bacta meet with the Minister - (L-R): Bacta President elect James Miller, Gambling Minister Mims Davies and Bacta’s National President Gabi Stergides
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

A senior Bacta delegation, comprising National President Gabi Stergides, President elect James Miller and CEO John White met last week with the Gambling Minister Mims Davies and her Civil Service advisers. The meeting, which took place on Wednesday 6 February, was held at Portcullis House and followed the Minister’s attendance at November’s Bacta Parliamentary Reception.

Gabi Stergides said: “When we met in November, the Minister had only recently taken charge of the gambling and amusements portfolio following the resignation of Tracey Crouch, over the proposed delay in implementing the £2 FOBT stake that was subsequently rescinded.

“Last week we took the opportunity to provide a more detailed perspective of the amusement industry and what it contributes to national, regional and local economies, set out our plans for developing a road map of the changes we wished to see alongside appropriate player protection measures and to demonstrate the reasons why player tracking is not appropriate for our sector.

“Discussions surrounding social responsibility featured prominently and we explained the ways in which we are working with and advising the pub sector on age verification as well as expanding on the success of Bacta’s first Social Responsibility Exchange and how we want to extend its scope and influence moving forward. We also took the opportunity to express our views more generally about the importance of keeping the industry competitive in what is a fast moving world of digital entertainment, the role of the Gambling Commission as both regulator and facilitator and potential mergers which may take place among UK trade bodies and associations.”

“It was a very positive exchange and I look forward to the Bacta leadership team developing a progressive and open relationship with the Minister.”

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Compliance Updates

Ireland moves closer to banning loot boxes in video games

Niji Ng

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Ireland moves closer to banning loot boxes in video games
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Ireland could become the next country to ban lootboxes in video games, following the footsteps of countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands. The Dáil, the lower house of parliament in the Republic of Ireland, is discussing the legality of loot boxes.

Loot boxes are popular among the players. They are also a major source of revenue for game manufacturers, as loot boxes are often sold for real money.

However, it has also forced many governments look critically at the practice.

David Stanton, the current Minister of State responded that if any video game was offering a product that was considered gambling under Irish law, they must obtain a license for it. According to Stanton, no video game manufacturer has sought out a license in Ireland or another EU member state for loot boxes.

Minister Stanton repeated the concerns of the Gaming Regulators European Forum that certain video games were offering products that could be considered gambling under some national laws in the EU. Heydon used examples to outline how loot boxes worked and why they were viewed as gambling products.

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